Not only was this morning’s session my last here in Iceland, but also Ingo’s. Ingo returned to Reykjavik with me tonight and has no more Atlantic salmon fishing days this year. That’s why we both got up early and made it to the water at 7 AM. We wanted to end Iceland 2014 on a high note.
And we did. We raised five salmon and landed two. Ingo got the first one. He had a salmon raise to his fly but swirl and not eat it twice in a row. I watched Ingo change flies over and over while resting the fish between changes. Ingo’s persistence paid off and finally I heard the splash of his leaping fish. Although not a big boy, under this weeks difficult conditions any salmon landed is a victory.
I had one fish raise to my fly at the end of the swing. I felt the lightest tug and tried to feed him but when I lifted he was gone. Copying Ingo, I rested the salmon and changed flies several times but mine never came back.
We left to another area for awhile but Ingo and I agreed I needed to try my fish again for the last half hour before the end of the session. After an unsuccessful attempt at the other spot it came down to that last half hour and Ingo turned me loose on the run where I had a touch. This trip has been amazing but how cool would it be to catch one more salmon?
I don’t wear a watch but I knew time was flying as I worked the run – casting, swinging, stripping and taking a couple steps. I was determined and somehow felt there were fish looking at my fly. Just as Ingo hollered out that we had five minutes left I got that famous Atlantic salmon touch.
I held back from doing the trout set but the salmon never held on. With only four minutes left there wasn’t time to rest the situation. Instead I decided to stick with the same fly and change its action. I cast far and mended like crazy getting the fly down deep. Then I stripped and flipped the tip of my rod – very uncharacteristic of the way you fish for Atlantics. But it worked. Just when my fly was swinging at maximum speed I got thumped and hooked up.
I had one last dandy of a salmon. The hefty female made at least five high jumps smashing to the water with all her weight. She took off so far in my backing I had to chase her downstream past where Ingo was making his last few casts. Finally I gained control and a minute later Ingo’s gynormous net captured the 84 cm Atlantic salmon.
We’ve seen it before; my last cast often catches a lucky fish. I have no idea what it is, but it happens. I’ll never give up until I reel it in as long as I live. In fact make that a lesson for us all. Keep your fly in the water!
I’m presently in Reykjavik and its 1 AM on Wednesday. Ingo and I just rapped up the trip with a few beers at a local pub and exchanged photos and notes. I’m headed to the airport in a few hours and will be home late tonight. It’s hard to believe I can leave this foreign world of Atlantic salmon near the North Pole and be in my own bed tonight – I love this world we live in.
Tomorrow I’ll close out Iceland blogs with some final thoughts and a few pictures that I have yet to post.
Everyone needs to do this trip. Just contact me or Ingo at Icelandic Fly Fishermen!